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A Reporter Says She Was Kicked Out Of A Stephen Harper Rally For Interviewing Supporters

It's yet another chapter in the most tightly controlled campaign in Canadian history.

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Conservative staffers have been pre-screening every person who attends Stephen Harper's rallies to ensure the prime minister only meets positive crowds.

Now there's been a new development. On Tuesday a reporter for Vancouver radio station CKNW named Shelby Thom said she was booted from a Harper rally in Richmond, B.C. for trying to interview supporters about marijuana.

Earlier in the day Harper sparred with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over marijuana legalization. He also promised new funding for the RCMP to go after grow-ops.

Just got kicked out of @pmharper campaign rally for talking to supporters post rally about marijuana. #elxn42

. @pmharper speech was over. Began interviewing supporters about marijuana. Told my staffer event was over , I continued , approached by...

another staffer to follow him. I walked towards lobby, he directed me to door, I walked outside and he closed door behind me .

#elxn42 poli reporters , why are you not allowed to interview supporters at @pmharper campaign rallies ?

For those wondering, it's not normal to prevent reporters from trying to interview attendees of a political event. But questions about unprecedented levels of control have followed the Conservative campaign.

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

Participants at Harper's events were first required to sign a gag order against posting any pictures or descriptions of the event. The campaign backtracked on this.

Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Paul McLeod at

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